Bring Home A Taste Of Paris The Easy Way With French Bistro Brisket Steven Raichlen says slow cooking can transform beef brisket from a dry, tough cut of meat into something "incredibly rich and soulful."
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Bring Home A Taste Of Paris The Easy Way With French Bistro Brisket

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Bring Home A Taste Of Paris The Easy Way With French Bistro Brisket

Bring Home A Taste Of Paris The Easy Way With French Bistro Brisket

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We're now going to hear about meat - a tough cut of meat in particular braised low and slow until very tender.

STEVEN RAICHLEN: Your knife doesn't so much cut through the brisket as glide through it.

SIEGEL: It is French Bistro Brisket. Think pot roast but kicked up a couple of notches. And for today's Found Recipe, Chef Steven Raichlen says it is well worth the long cooking time.

RAICHLEN: It is part of what I call classic French guy food - food like snails, oysters, organ meat, wild game. This comes from a restaurant in Paris called Benoit - was opened in 1912 in Les Halles, the old French market. And it catered to the market men, the butchers - guys with really big appetites.

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RAICHLEN: It's a very tough meat and a dry meat. So what the French did is they would cut slivers of pork fat and carrot. And using a hollow needle, they would actually insert those slivers of fat through the meat so that it would moisturize the meat from the inside out.

The way you eat it at Benoit, first of all, they bring it to you in a copper pot, lift the lid of the pot and you'd get this incredible blast of wine flavor with aromatic vegetables. The wine and did triple duty. It served as a marinade first, then as a cooking liquid, and finally it reduced down to a gravy. You could get drunk on the aroma.

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RAICHLEN: Whenever I'm in Paris, I dream of this dish. And whenever I'm not, I make it at home because despite the long cooking time, it's really easy. Ready?

You start by browning bacon and onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Then you brown the brisket. Then you flambe the brisket with Cognac and add red wine to cover - a bottle. Then simply cover the pot, bake the brisket in a low oven for four hours. Return the vegetables and bacon to the pot and continue baking until the beef is tender enough to cut with the side of a fork. It is completely extraordinary.

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SIEGEL: Steven Raichlen is the author of "Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook For Guys." Guy or gal, you can get the recipe for his French Bistro Brisket at our Found Recipes page at NPR.org.

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